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24 future business ideas to bank on in the 2020s

Have you thought about what you want 2020 to look like for you? And your plans for the next decade? We’re not talking resolutions here, we’re talking life plans. Is 2020 the year for you to start your business? Maybe you feel like it’s now or never. There are certainly enough opportunities out there and change is happening quickly. Could you get ahead of the curve or make money by helping other people keep up?

The 2010s saw the emergence of the gig and sharing economies, the enormous growth of e-commerce, mobile apps and we could not get enough of coffee shops. You shouldn’t feel like you’ve missed the boat as many of these trends will continue to thrive and new ones will always come along. Start planting the seeds today and you could have a forest in a few years time.

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Big business ideas


7. A revival business 

Think lava lamps, records, shabby chic furniture and Gameboys. Retro is big if you choose the right idea. Old tech products like Walkmans, record players and original iPhones can sell for hundreds or even thousands of pounds these days. 

  • Take inspiration from Etsy


8. Travel agency 

Glampacking is the new backpacking and travellers want to live like locals and have authentic but sustainable and ethical experiences in little-explored lands. 


9. Black business

Businesses that fulfil the needs of black people and other ethnic minorities in the UK and the US will continue to grow after their needs have been underrepresented for years in business. Barriers like access to finance and mentorship for ethnic minority entrepreneurs is still a problem but this is slowly changing and industries like make-up and hair care are taking off.  

“Investment in Black-owned businesses is a path towards closing the racial wealth gap, strengthening communities, and creating economic opportunities for everyone. The future, therefore, relies on Black entrepreneurs.”

Dayna Winter, Shopify


10. Car charging stations

With environmental issues high on Gen Y and Z’s priority list, the electric vehicle market will continue to grow meaning that people are going to need more places to recharge their batteries.


11. Ruby chocolate

Did you know there’s now officially a 4th type of chocolate invented by Barry Callebaut, a Belgian-Swiss cocoa company and launched in 2017. If the milk, dark and white varieties are anything to go by we’d say this is going to be popular.


12. Plastic alternatives

If things stay the same, there’ll be more plastic in the ocean than fish by 2050 (McKinsey & Company). We’re looking for plastic alternatives at every turn to try and do our bit. Innovative substitute materials are already being made from mushroom roots, seaweed and palm leaves. 

Online business ideas


13. Affiliate marketing 

There’s still money to be made in affiliate marketing if you find your niche and put the work in. It’s where you earn a commission for sales that you drive via your own blog or website. 


14. Online courses

Webinars, courses delivered via email, Youtube videos… online education is one of the quickest and easiest ways to learn anything. If you have the knowledge to share, set up a platform and get teaching.


15. Dropshipping

Dropshipping is a low-risk way of launching an e-commerce business as your orders are fulfilled directly from the supplier so you don’t need to take on the stock or delivery yourself. Choose your niche and concentrate on the marketing. 


16. Online therapy 

Affordable counselling options are now available anytime and anywhere giving instant access to patients when they most need it via apps, text messages and online chats. 


17. Influencer marketing 

Gen Z is totally under the influence… of online influencers. Their next purchase is likely to be inspired by a blog, vlog or social media post. Build up a following and become an influencer yourself or manage influencers for other brands. 


18. Online shop 

Sites like Squarespace and Shopify have removed the barriers to building your own great looking and working online shop. Top ideas include selling good quality second-hand children’s clothes or designer items. Subscription or membership-based products and services are the smart way to get repeat customers and a recurring income. 

Low cost business ideas


19. Recruitment agency 

The recruitment industry has left a lot to be desired for a long while now but a new wave of agencies are breaking through. Those that offer exemplary service and specialise in growing career trends and industries like remote working or the veterinary industry.


20. Selling hand-crafted items 

If you have a passion for making things, people are longing for unique gifts and items that set them apart in a world of mass production. Amazon has launched Amazon Handmade to capitalise on this growth and to compete with the likes of Etsy and Not On The High Street where you can sell your wares. 


21. Virtual assistant 

If you’re an expert with a to-do list and great at organising then being a virtual assistant could be just the role for you. They offer businesses the flexibility to outsource admin tasks to free up their time for other things. 


22. Handyman or woman 

People are getting worse at DIY so if you’re good at fixing things, putting up flat-pack furniture or tidying up the garden then this could be a business for you. And there’s a particular shortage in females who are often preferred by female clients. 


23. Freelancer 

Could you help other businesses with services like graphic design, website development, copywriting, social media management or photography? Have the flexibility to do work that you really want to do at the times and places you want to do it.* 

*Regular income not always guaranteed! 


24. Ebook 

If you’re a dab hand at writing then starting an ebook business and self-publishing could be right up your street. The trick is to come up with ideas that are specialist enough to turn up in search but wide enough to gain volume. You’ll need to be able to write and research well and quickly and focus on your marketing. 

Download: How to start a business in 20 days ebook

We get it. There’s a lot to think about when you’re starting a business. That’s why we’ve created this free eBook that will provide you with a focused and 100% manageable action plan.   

From budgets to social media, our how to start a business in 20 days eBook is the smart guide to getting your business up and running. 

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